ESAs are more than a pet and are accustomed to providing support and care. They are a great companion and help us resolve various mental issues and relieve emotional distress.
The subject of ESA (emotional support animals) could be confusing if you are new to the subject of how animal support is helpful for mental illnesses and affect our physiological behavior to some extent.
In America, almost 20 percent of the population is suffering from a mental illness in one way or the other and it’s important to understand the benefits we could obtain through animal-human bonding.
An ESA in simpler terms could aid the owner or patient to overcome or deal with a particular disability or emotional distress. An Emotional support animal is different from a service or other form of assistance animal and don’t go through any kind of training in general. Being empathic, to provide love and care are among the basic characteristics of animals like dogs.
Proper guidance and support are given to the individuals who might need an ESA. Licensed physicians and mental health professionals can evaluate your application and can help you obtain an ESA letter.
After acquiring an ESA letter you can avail 2 legal benefits over general circumstances,
- Flying with your emotional support animal:
An ESA letter gives you the benefit of legally traveling along with your ESA. The Americans with Disabilities Act protects your rights and allows your ESA to accompany you into your flight cabin.
- Exempt from no-pet housing policy:
An emotional support animal is more than a pet and is a medical aid tool. Under Federal Fair Housing Laws ESAs are free from pet-related fees and can live with their designated owner even in apartments with no pet policy.
Here Are Five Ways in which ESAs improve your Mental Health
They Boost The Production of Neurotransmitters:
Bonding with your ESA could cause a hike in neurotransmitter activities in your brain. Dopamine and serotonin levels are found to be increased while the interactions with dogs. A similar effect is produced by antidepressants on our bodies. Having an ESA animal around people who are more inclined towards loneliness or are going through a tough phase of life can be an effective tool to overcome their issues and feelings. They also help manage/overcome certain anxiety/emotional distress related issues too.
Keep a Hold on Anxiety Issues on Plane
People often have a misconception of people carrying their pets on a plane, however, it’s a special case when you’re traveling with your ESA. You’re protected by law and permitted to travel with your Emotional support animal once you have an ESA letter. Keeping in mind that not all the traveling plans are inspired by vaccinations, sometimes the circumstances are dire like in case of a family emergency or a funeral. Your fluffy traveling companion could help you abstain from your anxiety and accompany you in such a situation.
People with serious mental conditions might find it difficult to travel in planes or maybe avoid traveling at all, these situations could be difficult for someone with dire social anxiety issues. An ESA supports these options in a different way than medicines do, though their effects are somewhat the same. So if you find yourself sitting with someone who’s traveling with a dog, then try to be more supportive and give them the advantage of the doubt.
Encourage You to Exercise Frequently
Various studies have been done on how having a dog as an ESA could be beneficial for your physical health. They encourage you to go out for jogging or hikes more than you would do it otherwise. Exercising regularly stimulates various chemicals in our body like endorphins, dopamine, and enkephalins, they are the body’s own producing opioids and feed food hormones. Exercising helps in managing various mental illnesses like anxiety, ADHD, trauma, PTSD, trauma. While the world is going through the Coronavirus Pandemic, more people are going through emotional distress and mental health issues. Exercising in the COVID-19 outbreak could give a boost to your mental health and maintain equilibrium in your overall body functioning.
Emotional Support and Unconditional Love
It’s hard to bind in words how loving and caring these emotional support animals can be. Over time you develop a special connection with your ESA which helps you feel connected and fills up the void of love that sometimes makes people feel empty and lonely. This doesn’t indicate that someone cannot connect with the people around them but it is supposed to get people going through difficult situations to stand on their feet again. It could remarkably improve the patient’s mental health and enervate the negative aspects of their condition.
They embrace your Everyday Routine
Even everyday practices could be hard to deal with when you are diagnosed with a mental condition. Being in emotional distress or going through a post-traumatic experience could be scary and make you glued with your bed for much longer than you should. Living with your ESAs or being around them could give you an excuse and purpose to be involved in different activities.
This research shows how pet owners are benefited from a healthy lifestyle, deal with their anxiety issues, and interacting with them in everyday life lowers the chances of having a heart disease.
Living with your ESA also gives you a chance to pamper or care for them, this could be something you both could enjoy and would help you develop a better connection with your beloved companion.